There will be those who will tell us that it’s arrogant to say that our worldview is right, and someone else’s is wrong. That we’re claiming to have a monopoly on the truth. History is written by the victors, isn’t it? That might be your truth, but it’s not my truth. Is truth even knowable? What is truth?
There’s been a cultural war on truth lately – generally caused by Postmodernism.
Yet – truth is important. And it is knowable. And it is true, regardless of how anyone feels about it. Gravity exists whether you believe in it or not. Santa Claus doesn’t exist, no matter how much you want to believe in him or feel like he exists.
Truth exists. We all know this. The only area in which we’re uncomfortable admitting that truth exists is with worldview.
Yet Paul had no trouble admitting it as he spoke to those who believed in Greek gods:
Acts 14:15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.”
Neither did Jesus. Jesus was never afraid to tell people that they were wrong. In fact, he did it basically the entire time he was here on earth. To the Pharisees. To his disciples. To the Jewish peoples.
He constantly told the truth he heard from God and never once apologized for it. Seriously, this amazed me. I read through all the gospels recently and never once counted a single time in which Jesus apologized for the truth the Father had told him to say. Instead, he said stuff like:
John 6:53-54 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
With no study bible to explain the meaning. This outraged and disgusted a lot of people, but Jesus showed that he simply speaks the words the Father gives him to say, and that he is the King, and that he’s not seeking our approval. He doesn’t explain away or rationalize anything he says. Instead, it’s “take it or leave it.” If we want to come to him, we have to trust him and submit to him.
(Right Afterward in John 6): Jesus said this while he was teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum. 60 When many of Jesus’ disciples heard him, they said, “What he says is hard to accept. Who wants to listen to him anymore?”
61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were criticizing his message. So Jesus asked them, “Did what I say make you lose faith? 62 What if you see the Son of Man go where he was before? 63 Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life…Jesus’ speech made many of his disciples go back to the lives they had led before they followed Jesus. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave me too?
Jesus was a controversial person. You either revered him as the Messiah and Son of God, or you hated him. There was no in-between.
From John 7: “The world…hates me because I testify that its works are evil.”
Likewise, one of the last messages Jesus left his disciples before he was crucified was this:
John 15:18-20 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”
So, what do I have to say to all this? What’s the application for us, as Jesus’s followers in a world that hates the word “sin” and hates the word “truth?”
I honestly don’t know. This has been a nagging question in the back of my head for a little while. Jesus and John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul all publically called people out for their sin. Jesus with the Pharisees and some others, John for Herod, and Paul for all the people in his various churches who were blatantly sinning without remorse. (Though he also lovingly rebuked those who were trying but were misguided, like the Galatian church).
I don’t know if it is God’s will for us to do the same. I don’t know if it’s God’s will to be polarizing and divisive in the same way that Jesus and his apostles were.
Perhaps this is a silly question, given that sanctification means that we look like Jesus.
What do you think? Do you think this is a thing of righteousness the church has overlooked because of cultural values and being conformed to the world? Or do you think our peacemaking approach is due to our world being different than theirs in some ways?
I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below. No seriously, I want you guys to convince me one way or the other, cause I genuinely am not sure where to stand on this.
Love you all,